“sufficiently accurate for poetry”

fiatluxemburg:

Babbage once contacted the poet Alfred Tennyson in response to his poem “The Vision of Sin”. Babbage wrote,

“In your otherwise beautiful poem, one verse reads,

Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.

… If this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next version of your poem should read]:

Every moment dies a man,
Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

Strictly speaking, the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.”

(Wikipedia gives Charles Babbage a whole “Eccentricities” section.)

“sufficiently accurate for poetry”

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